Building construction investment rises in November

The residential sector was a significant driver of this gain, says Statistics Canada

Building construction investment rises in November

Investment in building construction in Canada posted a 1.7% upswing to reach $19.8 billion in November, according to the national statistics agency.

Statistics Canada noted that on a constant dollar basis, with 2017=100 as the baseline, total investment in building construction saw a 1.3% increase, reaching $12.3 billion in November.

The residential sector was a significant driver of this gain, with a 2.2% uptick that pushed the segment’s total to $13.7 billion during that month.

StatCan said that the increase was propelled by accelerated construction activity in various regions, with Nova Scotia (up by 10.4%) leading the way and followed by noticeable gains in Alberta (up by 4.4%), Ontario (up by 4.1%), British Columbia (up by 2.3%), and Quebec (up by 1%).

The Alberta market’s performance, in particular, reached a historic peak with record-high residential investment levels of $2 billion in November. StatCan said that this was the region’s strongest reading since monitoring began in January 2010.

However, “these increases were partially offset by declines in the other provinces as the pace of new construction slowed from earlier in 2023,” StatCan said.

By asset class, investment in detached single-family homes went up by 1.2% increase to $6.6 billion in November, marking the fourth straight monthly uptick. Investment in multi-unit buildings registered a 3.1% gain, reaching $7.2 billion.

On the other hand, the non-residential sector experienced a more modest increase of 0.4%, settling at a total of $6 billion.

This was underpinned by a 3.1% increase in institutional investment, which totalled $1.6 billion. Industrial investment also went up by 1% to $1.3 billion.

These were somewhat offset by a decline in commercial investment, which contracted by 1.2% to $3.2 billion during the same period, StatCan said.